Facets of Faith: faulty book ratings


Hanl Brown

Staff reporter Faith Brocke expresses her emotions and experiences in her column, Facets of Faith.

Faith Brocke, Staff Reporter

I don’t trust book ratings. Generally, they’re pretty useless.

This is a really strong claim, but trust me, it isn’t baseless.

Sure it all boils down to opinions, which are never in short supply when it comes to me, but I’m usually pretty receptive to reviews all around.

If someone says a restaurant’s burgers are to die for, but their pasta is ‘mid ‘, I’m gonna stick with the sesame bun and pickles while paying no mind to the farfalle. 

But when it comes to books, it almost feels personal.

Not every New York Times bestseller lives up to the hype, even if it falls into my favorite genre. 

Of course there are some hits, but that also means there are bound to be swings and misses. Respectfully speaking, I am not reading a majority of novels that were originally written as fanfiction and adapted into a book solely for profit. 

If I get recommended Eleanor and Park, I will genuinely never bring up the subjects of books, reading, writing, and opinions on reading/writing ever again.

I would rather read the books for myself and form an opinion. Especially when there’s content I wasn’t prepared for and forgot to check Does the Dog Die? to ensure I don’t end up halfway through a book that I find completely unreadable.

I can’t trace back my aversion to book reviews back to any event or reason, but I find them incredibly unhelpful, especially when many reviews are omitted quotes that give you indication of what the reader has in store.

Thanks for telling me just how riveting this book is without elaboration; or worse, giving a synopsis as opposed to any distinct hints as to what the reviewer’s opinion is.

There are many books that deserved to be bestsellers, but a notorious and honored title such as that shouldn’t be the only reason I decide whether or not I should give it a read. 

Sometimes it’s the books from small authors that leave me in awe, wishing that the paperback in my hands earned the coveted stars of approval that others don’t necessarily deserve.